Partnering to catch bluefin tuna for 2017, Tommy Adkins and his first mate, Stephen Lilly are having an outstanding season. After catching a doubleheader the first week of January, they hauled in a 106-inch beast on Jan. 11 that was estimated to weigh more than 800 pounds before being beheaded and gutted — and still weighing 626.
January’s unpredictable weather, along with cold water temperatures, is a given, and it makes targeting a single species of fish on the Santee Cooper lakes risky in terms of enjoying good action — but fast action and quality fish are available. A key is to allow the weather and water conditions to dictate what’s best at any given time.
Guide Dale Collins likes to prepare fish for meals, especially redfish, and the one fish he can keep daily (between 18 and 27 inches) will do fine for his two favorite ways to cook them: blackened or grilled.
Guide Freddie Sinclair has had the same fishing platform, an 18-foot bass boat, for years, but he recently purchased newer electronics because detecting crappies beneath the lake’s surface is a key to his success, especially during winter.
Guide Wendell Wilson said the potential to catch trophy stripers at Lake Russell exists year-round, although winter is prime time.
“Plenty of huge stripers are also caught in the spring and summer below Hartwell Dam in the upper end of the lake,” he said. “The fact is, this is likely the best lake in South Carolina for trophy stripers.”
During January, the water temperature at Lake Russell typically dips close to its lowest level of the year. When it does — and the big striper bite slows — guides Wendell Wilson and Jerry Kotal have found that thinking small can yield big results.
Plenty of fishermen in North Carolina and South Carolina haven’t been exactly excited about the proliferation of white perch, morone americana, in many reservoirs, Anglers targeting catfish love them for cut bait, but many bemoan the loss of white bass fisheries that are common where white perch have taken over.
The Cape Horn 36os is the excellent big brother of the company’s legendary 31-footers. One look is all it takes to realize mighty oaks grow from acorns and those acorns usually sprout right beside the family tree. The 36os is a boat for fishermen who have a passion for fishing big water and want to do it in comfort and style. And there is a lot of both, plus many built-in features.
Carolina Composites of Walterboro, S.C., make no bones about its Bulls Bay line. Several classic hull designs that have been popular for a while have been located, retooled and modernized to produce a line of affordable boats with the features needed for comfortable and successful fishing. The 230 Center Console is the latest addition to the line and continues the tradition well.